In June of 2006, I finished reading Tim Russert's book "Big Russ & Me". It's not the sort of thing I usually read, but I did find it it generally interesting and at times even thought provoking. I wrote these thoughts down then, but never got around to posting them until now.

Russert used a particularly striking phrase when he described what he learned from his long association with Daniel Patrick Moynihan... "to respect true intelligence, ask good questions, and disagree agreeably."

I don't think I've ever heard the words "disagree agreeably" put together like that, but I instantly knew what he meant. It seems to me that the world would be a more pleasant and productive place all around if more of us would commit to disagreeing agreeably, instead of tending towards assuming the worst, over-reacting, and flaming each other when working through contentious issues.